I’m Not Happy

By Jonathan Goodman | Follow Him on Twitter

I hate this book so far…

Viralnomics is a passion project for me. I don’t expect it to make a lot of money but I love the concept and feel it can help a lot of people. I also love researching, testing, and writing about different social contagion theories. The idea for this book started soon after I released Race to the Top and has something I’ve actively researched since then.

Somewhere along the line my crazy, unpredictable, and usually irrational mind decided to quit a successful career personal training and try my hand at this online business stuff. It was never my intention to write a book, start a website, or become a web marketer — not even close.

I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would always follow my intuition. Writing books and building online businesses has changed my life. For better or for worse I’m all in and I want to share what I’ve learned to help others achieve the same freedom in their lives.

But I hate the book so far.

I spent 10 months building a chapter outline that was supposed be bullet-proof. I had 100+ references and brought and extra suitcase of books with me to Hawaii that I had read, tagged, and highlighted to be used throughout the book along with a Kindle full of .pdf’s of studies. I’ve isolated myself to work on this book, it’s been a huge adjustment.

The process was never easy and I can’t say that I loved every minute of the research and development of the chapter outline but I found it fascinating. I woke up with a desire to learn knowing that it would help me create.

Then I started to write and have been dragging my ass from the start. A little bit of writer’s block never hurt anybody but my creativity never came back. I finished the first 4 chapters and published them grudgingly. I’m not proud of the book so far and don’t think I’ve communicated myself well.

What it comes down to is this….

I was writing Viralnomics how I thought it should be written and not how I wanted to write it. I had secretly hoped to get a publisher and thought this was how I would impress one.

Race to the Top (RTTT) is how I want to write books and I don’t care if I get a publisher anymore. If it happens it happens but I’m going to write the book the way I think it should be written, I owe you that much.

For RTTT I didn’t have an outline in terms of length. I had 81 cue cards. I didn’t plan on 81. 81 just happened to be the number of sub-headings I needed in order for me to say what I wanted to say. Each cue card had a topic. I gave myself a guideline of no more than 600 words per topic. It forced me to be succinct. I got in, got dirty, and got out. I also purposely broke a lot of rules and it was an editor’s nightmare.

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The writing was tough at times because of how short each section was. I forced myself to communicate concepts that seemed complex to me in short sections. My goal was to have a flow to the book — I wanted people to race through it in one sitting and, from the 100s of messages I’ve gotten since its release, I was mostly successful.

When the pile of cue cards was done, I had said what I wanted to say; the book was done.

I remember the feeling when I finished the last cue card. I looked up in the coffee shop for the first time in hours and my hands were shaking. I called my Mom and all I could say was, “I’m done, and it’s awesome”.

Back to the Drawing Board

I first want to thank everybody who has been reading, contributing, and sending me amazing messages of support on this project.

Thank you.

I’m still going to write this book but am going back to square one.

For as long as it’s going to take me I am going to follow the same process as I did with Race to the Top:

  1. Build a very detailed outline (I’ll rework the existing one I have)
  2. Create as many sub-headings as I need. Each sub-heading will tell a story or one piece of the theory.
  3. Write each sub-heading onto a cue card.
  4. Fill out details on the card itself for each section. I’ll write the research for the section and include any relevant information or ideas for that section.
  5. Stand over the table where the cue cards are laid out and reorder them writing notes on each section.
  6. Do this again 3-5 times until I get an order I’m happy with.
  7. Sit at my computer with a stack of cards on the right side.
  8. Pick up a card and write the section, then put that card on my left side.
  9. Repeat for as long as it takes until the stack is finished.
  10. Start the series of edits.

I will still be publishing the sections as I go on this site. If you have read the first 4 chapters the material will likely repeat for a bit.

It will take me some time to get everything organized. I’ll be blogging on whatever I feel like blogging about in the meantime on this site. Sometimes social media stuff, sometimes random musings, sometimes fitness, and other times about things I do here in Hawaii. As promised you will get an uninhibited view into my writing process, no matter how bad it is.

So yeah, back to the drawing board. And when I’m done, it’s going to be awesome.